Differences have been reported in incidence rates of fractures in the pediatric population, between countries and over time. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and characteristics of fractures over 20 years among Israeli children.
Incidence rates of fractures were derived from the electronic database of Meuhedet Health Services, a health maintenance organization providing healthcare services to 1.2 million people in Israel. Demographic and clinical data were extracted of all the fractures in individuals aged <18 years during 2000-2019. Fracture sites were determined according to ICD9 definitions. Fracture data were analyzed by age, sex, season and sector (general Jewish population, ultra-orthodox Jews and Arabs).
During the study period 188,283 fractures occurred in 142,049 individuals. The most common were fractures of the upper limb (65%), followed by fractures of the lower limb [20%]. The overall fracture rate was 251 per 10,000 person- years (PY), and was higher for boys than girls (319 vs. 180 per 10,000 PY, p<0.001). During 20 years, standardized fracture rates decreased significantly in the general Jewish population, among both boys (from 457 to 325 per 10,000 PY, p<0.001) and girls (from 244 to 196 per 10,000 PY, p<0.001); increased among ultra-orthodox Jewish boys (from 249 to 285 per 10,000 PY, p=0.002) and girls (from 147 to 194 per 10,000 PY, p<0.001); and did not change significantly among Arab boys and girls. The fracture rate peaked among girls aged 10-11 years and among boys aged 12-13 years. Seasonal variation showed a bimodal distribution with peaks during spring and autumn.
The incidence of pediatric fractures is affected by age, gender, sector and season. Recognition of fracture characteristics may help identify specific populations and conditions for targeted prevention strategies.

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